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  • Carla Evans

Is dried fruit good for you?

Hi everyone,

Well it's been a few weeks between emails as I've been in NZ spending time with the family. Just getting back into the normal routine now and missing mum's baking already!

If home baking is not your jam (pun intended) snack time can be tricky to navigate especially with children. There are so many processed snacks that compete for their attention and the old lunchbox comparisons can be a unique form of peer pressure! Not to mention the restrictions on nuts in the lunchboxes of many schools - ahhhhh!

Nibblish baked fruit with no additives.  Similar to dried fruit.

A client recently put me onto a baked fruit snack called Nibblish. It's similar to dried fruit but because it's baked they don't use any preservatives which is the annoying thing about some dried fruits. I've tried the pineapple and mango - I prefer the mango but the pineapple is definitely hubby approved.

There are no additives yay! They are not certified organic but they have a big focus on sustainable and native growing:

"When we insisted on fruit that was farmed sustainably and on land that grew those fruits natively, our list of partners grew even smaller. By choosing native plants, our farmers can reduce or remove the need for chemical fertilisers and sprays because the soil and biodiversity of the region provides everything that is needed."

Nibblish is available at many Coles and Woolworths supermarkets - I found it in the baking aisle with all the other dried fruits.

I do get lots of questions about dried fruit - is it good for us? Hasn't it got too much sugar?

Dried or baked fruit without added sugar is absolutely fine for most people. If you have a fructose intolerance, are following FODMAPs or have Type I or II Diabetes you will know you need to be more cautious - speak to your nutritionist about the appropriate portions for you.

Fruit, including dried fruit does contain natural sugars called fructose, glucose and sucrose (glucose + fructose joined together). The dried or baked fruit will have a higher concentration of natural sugar per 100g because the water has been removed. It doesn't mean sugar has been added. For example a fresh mango has approximately 14g natural sugars per 100g of fruit. Dried mango has approximately 60g natural sugars per 100g of fruit. Don't freak out! Lets think about how much we would actually eat. 1 cup of fresh mango is a standard portion size, this weighs 165g so we would be eating 23g of natural sugars. 1 tablespoon - 1/4 cup of dried fruit is a standard portion - this would be approximately 20g - 40g of dried mango which would be 12g - 24g of natural sugars. So if we ate the standard portion of dried fruit we are actually getting less than or an equal amount of sugar as the fresh fruit!

Okay, okay, enough maths Carla!

Here's the kicker. Some people (including some Dietitians and Doctors) say sugar is sugar is sugar. In other words they believe the sugar in a can of coke is the same as the sugar in fruit or has the same effect on the body. I strongly disagree with this. In a 600mL bottle of coke there is 63g of sugar. In Australia, white sugar is used in coke. White sugar comes from the sugar cane plant. The sugar cane juice is full of sugar as well as molasses. To make white sugar, the molasses is stripped out so just the sugar (sucrose) is left. The molasses contains all the B vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to metabolise sugar and use it effectively to produce energy. We mostly make rum from molasses or use it as a supplement because of all the goodness in it! So white sugar contains none of the natural co-nutrients that were in the original sugar cane juice. What does this mean? It means your body has to find reserves of B vitamins and minerals to be able to metabolise the white sugar. So you are depleting your nutrient reserves every single time you eat white sugar.

Both fresh and dried fruit however, naturally contain all the co-nutrients your body needs to metabolise the sugars in the fruit. It's a complete package. Your body can make energy easily from the natural sugars in fruit.

There is so much more we could go into here with sugar but I hope this helps you to enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit and clarifies some points. Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy fruiting!

Carla :)

P.S. Want to re-read a previous email but have deleted it? (accidentally of course!) Not to fear - all previous emails are available on the website blog or facebook.

P.P.S. Online bookings are available for current clients.



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